Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Motherhood brings its own set of skills to work:

Being a mum brings new skills to the workplace - but they're not necessarily understood or appreciated by others.
By Motherpedia
Date: April 16 2013
Tags: work, career,
Editor Rating:

Almost all women professionals believe that raising children has helped them bring new and unique skills to the workplace.

A survey conducted by executive recruitment company Korn/Ferry found that 95% of professional women believe that transferable skills, such as motivating and inspiring others, learning agility, applying experience in new ways and confidence, have all developed further through motherhood.

The study also highlighted the dramatic impact that technology is making on work-life balance for parents. Nearly 80% of working women believe that technology has made it much easier to balance work and family by connecting them to the workplace whenever and wherever they are.  

"While some high-profile companies have stepped away from offering employees the opportunity to work from home, our survey shows that most enterprises still see it as an important way to drive productivity, increase retention and demonstrate inclusion in the workplace," said Ana Dutra, chief executive officer of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting.  "It is all about driving responsibility and accountability, whether a person works in the office or at home.”

Nearly 80% of the executives say their companies allow employees to work from home and 94% see this as an important option for working parents.

But while many executive managers see that offering workplace flexibility through reduced hours, or working from home, is a good way of improving productivity and retaining valuable staff, it is also seen an avenue to career stagnation.

"While working at home can be beneficial for both companies and workers, it can also lead to 'invisibility' that can limit opportunities for career advancement," said Dutra. "It is important for telecommuters to remain networked as closely as possible with peers and leaders in the office."

One in five co-workers also think that those who are not in the office every day should not be paid the same as those who are.

Despite technology’s impact in helping parents manage the demands of children and work, and the advantages gained by skills transferrable to the workplace, about 45% of female corporate executives believe their career-growth prospects have been stymied “somewhat” by having children.  Another 8% believe that motherhood has limited their career progression to a “great extent.”  

As further evidence of the challenge, 29% of the female respondents have either postponed or decided not to have children based on their careers, according to the survey. Women still hold fewer than 15% of corporate executive positions at organisations globally.

The results of the global survey are consistent with Motherpedia’s research about workplace flexibility for Australian mothers.

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